A strong will to succeed

With both his parents dead, ANU student BASHIR YOUSUFI left Afghanistan to find a new life.

I was 14 years old when I decided to leave Afghanistan, it was horrible but there weren’t any options for me to stay.

I had lost my parents. The reason my father got killed was because he was a successful Hazara businessman who had shops. They killed him because of his success – they don’t want anyone from the Hazara community to succeed in their life.

When I left Afghanistan I didn’t know where I was going. I said I am going to a better life but I had no idea where I would end up, that was absolutely scary.

I spent eight or nine months in Pakistan before going to Indonesia where I registered with the UNHCR.

In Jakarta, I found out there was a place called Australia and I went on a boat to Christmas Island.

The boat trip was like the end of your life – every minute was horrible, horrible, horrible.

We were on the boat for seven days and nights. Everyone was very sick, really exhausted, vomiting and with headaches, but the whole point was to get somewhere, a place we could call home.